North Melbourne 17.11.113 def. Geelong 14.9.93
Aaron Hall (29 disposals, 2 goals, 7 tackles), Paul Ahern (25 disposals), Tom Campbell (23 disposals, 31 hit-outs), Luke Davies-Uniacke (23 disposals, 5 tackles), Joel Crocker (22 disposals, 3 tackles), Tristan Xerri (18 disposals, 3 goals, 5 tackles), Nathan Hrovat (16 disposals, 6 goals), Kyron Hayden (15 disposals, 4 tackles), Declan Watson (11 disposals, 4 marks)
Dan Robinson (24 disposals, 2 goals), Chris Jansen (13 disposals, 7 tackles), Ryan Morrison (13 disposals), Nash Holmes (12 disposals, 2 goals), Brendan Whitecross (12 disposals, 1 goal), Michael Tang (11 disposals, 1 goal), Quinten Montanaro (10 disposals), Tyrone Leonardis (9 disposals), Jordan McIvor-Clark (9 disposals), Matt Northe (8 disposals), Fraser Cameron (6 disposals), Tom Hotchin (6 disposals), Cameron Hodges (4 disposals), Lachlan Mirams (3 disposals)
North Melbourne’s VFL side fought hard to secure its first win of the 2019, toppling an impressive Geelong side by 20 points at Avalon Airport Oval.
With both sides lining up with some impressive AFL-listed talent, the Roos got off to a quick start, with Nathan Hrovat slotting a miracle snap from the boundary in the opening ten seconds of the match.
It was a see-sawing affair for much of the first half, and at the main break, North trailed by just four points, with Hrovat booting three goals and Declan Watson and Joel Crocker playing vital roles in the defence.
A pair of quick goals for the Roos saw them kick out to an eight-point lead, but a run of majors for the Cats saw an 18-point swing in their favour.
The young North side was able to respond thanks to a strong third term from Aaron Hall and Tristan Xerri, to trail at three-quarter-time by just three points.
Hrovat kicked his sixth early in the fourth quarter to give the Roos their lead back, before Brendan Whitecross put his experience and leadership on show to kick another soon after.
As the visitors began to claw back, former Sydney Swan Dan Robinson took a crucial intercept mark inside forward 50 and split the middle to extend the lead beyond two goals once again.
When the final siren sounded, North was victorious.
Watch the coach said
“I’m really happy for the boys,” coach David Loader told North media post-game.
“I spoke to them after the game and just spoke about how the group never wavered from what we wanted to achieve, and even in the defeats over the past couple of weeks, they’ve turned up on the Monday ready to go again.
“They want to learn and they want to get better.
“For the first time this year we finished with a fit list, which makes an enormous difference, and we just had a group of guys who played their roles today and when guys play their roles, we just play better as a team.”
Best of the AFL
Having been a late inclusion for the AFL side two weeks ago and an emergency last weekend, Hrovat returned to the VFL side in style, booting a game-high six goals in an impressive display.
Hrovat’s energy on the field, and his enthusiasm off it, was a big boost for the young side, and a big reason why they were able to remain strong throughout the afternoon to record their first win of the season.
Best of the VFL
The experience and leadership shown by Brendan Whitecross throughout the afternoon was clearly evident, with his voice providing instruction and encouragement to his teammates, while his skills and poise was also a highlight.
Playing forward most of the day, Whitecross won a free kick from a tight angle late in the fourth quarter and slotted it to extend the margin to nine points, before moving down to the backline to assist the defenders.